Mouth piercings also may:
- Make it hard to speak, chew, or swallow
- Damage your tongue, gums, or fillings.
- Lead to serious health problems, like uncontrolled bleeding, long-term infection, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C (if the needle wasn’t properly cleaning and disinfected.)
- Lead to an allergic reaction to the metal in the jewellery
Because of these risks, the American Dental Association warns against oral piercings.
People with certain conditions that might make it hard for the piercing to heal are particularly at risk for health problems. Those include heart disease, diabetes, haemophilia, and some autoimmune diseases.
Pick a piercing shop that appears clean and well run. Look for a piercer who has a license, which means they were specially trained. The piercer should wash his hands with germ-killing soap, wear fresh disposable gloves, and use sterilized tools or ones that are thrown away after one use.
You’ll want to make sure that:
- The piercer is happy to answer your questions
- The shop doesn’t use a piercing gun
- The needle is new and has never been used
- The needle is placed in a sealed container after it’s used
- Jewellery is made of surgical steel, solid gold, or platinum
Take Care of Your Piercing
Once you leave the shop, you’ll need to make sure your piercing heals and doesn’t get infected. Healing usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. During that time, you should:
- Rinse your tongue or lip piercing after every meal or snack and before bed. Use warm salt water or an antibacterial, alcohol-free mouthwash.
- Not kiss anyone while you heal (avoid contact with someone else’s saliva)
- Not share cups, plates, forks, knives, or spoons
- Eat small bites of healthy food
- Not eat spicy, salty, or acidic foods and drinks
Depending on where the piercing is, healing and home care recommendation may vary. Be sure to ask questions, and follow the advice your piercer gives you.
When to Get Help
You can expect short-term symptoms like pain, swelling, and extra saliva.
Watch out for signs of infection such as:
- Lots of Bleeding
- A Bad Smell
If you have any of these, see a healthcare provider. Also, get help if you just feel that something isn’t right.